Reda Hassan Safieddine Guilty of Shotgun Murder of 17-Year-Old Tagging Crew Rival

Courtesy of FVPD
Reda Hassan Safieddine in 2012
A jury today found a 20-year-old Fountain Valley man guilty of murdering an unarmed teen rival from a "tagging crew" with a shotgun blast to the neck in the parking lot of a convenience store.

Jurors in Santa Ana deliberated about four hours before convicting Reda Hassan Safieddine, who as a DJ went by "Big Reda," of second-degree murder and brandishing a firearm and found true a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a gun.

He faces up to 40 years to life in prison at his scheduled sentencing Nov. 7.

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Meet OC & LA Law Enforcement's Favorite Rats!

Illustration by Luke McGarry

Anthony Calabrese suffered no vision problems and wasn't a moron in September 2012, but the 23-year-old college student couldn't have known he had just seen a mirage inside the Orange County Jail (OCJ). Only a madman would think law enforcement officers had staged an elaborate, multi-hour, multi-pronged con game aimed at prompting him--one of 6,000 local detainees--to inadvertently forfeit his constitutional right to not self-incriminate. But Anaheim police detectives and sheriff's deputies anxious to solve a March 2007, drive-by murder indeed targeted Calabrese, whom they suspected of Barrio Small Town gang membership, for trickery.

The notorious Mexican Mafia ruthlessly reigns over all major Latino gangs in Southern California and, according to law enforcement officials, maintains a no-drive-by shootings policy; any affiliate who violates it without their permission suffers severe repercussions. Because deputies believed Calabrese might have violated the no-drive-by policy when he allegedly killed rival Citron Street gangster Armando Hernandez, and because a recovered "green light list"--a gang document detailing the identities of individuals to be attacked on sight--included Calabrese's name, they placed him in protective custody. Calabrese's housing location away from the general inmate population also--not accidentally--gave officers an easier forum to employ their secret weapon: a pair of ratas.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "Orange County Line": On the Gang Injunction Battle in Santa Ana's Townsend Street!

Thumbnail image for SAPD_Townsend.jpg
CopWatch Santa Ana
SanTana's finest

The summer has been especially hot in the Townsend Street neighborhood in SanTana, where the Orange County District Attorney's office is trying to fully implement a gang injunction. Nevermind that residents in the area don't want it. Nevermind that DA Tony Rackauckas usually overreaches on such efforts, leading to court decisions against him. There's cholos in dem dere apartments, so send in the cavalry!

The fight between activists and the DA/police is the subject of my KCRW-FM 89.9's "Orange County Line" this week.

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Weekender Updater: Gangs, Alleged Cruise Ship Killer, Discriminating Cops and TED Talkers

Illustration by Cameron K. Lewis/OC Weekly
Lonnie Kocontes failed to get a grand jury indictment against him for murder dismissed.

Read on, Garth, for links to previous Navel Gazing posts and updates to those stories.

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Titty Titty Gang Bang, An Orange County Jail Porn Film, Aired Today In Court

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The non-XXX version that wasn't directed by killer Stephenson Choi Kim
Homemade porn doesn't often get aired in Orange County courthouses, but today jurors in the trial against a jail deputy accused of allowing a killer inmate to enjoy sex dates, drugs, steaks, candy and a cell phone in exchange for bribes saw three, graphic iPhone video clips.

The no-audio footage, shot by Stephenson Choi Kim, shows him kissing Ha Duc Nguyen, repeatedly fondling her exposed breasts, mugging for the camera, squeezing his crotch through his orange jail jumpsuit and then exposing his erect penis.

In at least a half dozen segments, Kim--who walked into a crowded Cypress restaurant in 2004 and murdered a woman he didn't know while seriously wounding six other diners to impress his gang--enthusiastically worked his hard-on while taking shots of Nguyen, who seems to be moaning as if stimulated by an active vaginal vibrator.

At one point, Kim stopped pinching and pulling on Nguyen's nipples and filmed himself sliding a finger in and out of her mouth.

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OC DA Files Gang Injunction Against Townsend Street Gang in Santa Ana

CopWatch Santa Ana
Santa Ana Gang Unit officers on Townsend Street
Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas and Commander Tammy Franks offered inanities when asked by community members last November if the po-po was looking to place a gang injunction that would affect the Townsend Street barrio in central SanTana. "We are constantly looking at data related to all our hot spot areas," Rojas said at the time, in response to councilman Roman Reyna. "If there are gang injunctions to be done here in the city, I will be at that community meeting." Commander Franks tried to assure skeptical audience members that a SAPD Gang Unit presentation at the KidWorks center that tipped off residents merely spoke of gang injunctions in the hypothetical.

But earlier this month, the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) literally filed for a preliminary gang injunction on Townsend, and Santa Ana police served notices to those named in it just last week. So much for that community meeting, eh Chief Rojas?

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Deputy Betrayed OC Sheriff's Department To Protect Inmate's Sex, Drug Perks: Testimony

The girlfriend of a killer once housed inside the Orange County Jail testified Wednesday that a friendly sheriff's deputy twice secretly tipped her to potential searches so she wouldn't be caught smuggling contraband including drugs and weapons inside the facility.

Prosecutor Aleta Bryant elicited the testimony from Ha Duc Nguyen who is hoping her statements in support of the government's bribery case against now fired deputy David Lloyd Cass will result in her lenient punishment for the illegal, two-year smuggling operation.

Nguyen told the jury that on December 3, 2011--the day she was planning to smuggle marijuana, candy and a cell phone (plus charger and cord) to killer Stephenson Choi Kim--Cass contacted her with a warning.

"Deputy Cass texted me on the phone and told me that we were going to get searched [at the jail] so be careful with what I had and what not," Nguyen testified.

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With Deputy's Aid, Killer Turned Orange County Jail Into A Pleasure Palace, Witness Testifies

Kim freely explored sexual fetishes inside jail
Though a savage thug and murderer who liked to use guns, knives and a baseball bat to inflict pain during ambushes, Stephenson Choi Kim's life inside the Orange County Jail (OCJ) couldn't have been more pleasant.

Take the third Saturday in May 2011, for example.

Already convicted of committing a fatal, unprovoked restaurant shooting seven years earlier for his Southern California criminal street gang and awaiting an eventual 300-year sentence, Kim wanted to satisfy his carnal desires without relying on cellmates.

He summoned his civilian girlfriend, Ha Duc Nguyen, to Booth A of the Attorney-Bonds section of the jail visitor area, where a thoughtful deputy improved the ambiance and privacy of the bland room by turning off the lights.

Dragon--Kim's gang moniker probably to compensate for his short physical stature--then plugged a laptop computer into an electrical socket, watched a porno DVD while fondling Nguyen and stripped.

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Orange County Jail Inmates Allowed to Enjoy Phone Sex, Deputy Testifies

Rosenblum: My client is getting railroaded in jail sex case
Jail inmates--including killers, rapists, gangsters and pedophiles--regularly enjoy phone sex with civilians on public lines recorded by the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), and deputies allow the perk because "it's not illegal," according to court testimony this week.

That unplanned revelation came courtesy of OCSD Investigator James Karr, who was questioned by defense attorney Lewis Rosenblum about use of jail phone recordings to arrest David Lloyd Cass in 2013 after the deputy allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for allowing a maximum-security inmate contact sex dates from 2009 to 2012.

To charge Cass with four felonies involving gift cards to places such as Burke Williams Day Spa, Karr and prosecutor Aleta Bryant are relying on portions of more than 1,000 hours of phone recordings between inmate Stephenson Choi Kim and girlfriend Ha Duc Nguyen, who used her vagina to smuggle marijuana to the vicious killer and took cell phone recordings of him masturbating to porn she brought into the jail.

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F Troop Gangster Selling Meth, Guns In Orange County Learns Fate

Ismael Luna must have been excited in August 2012, when he found a buyer in Santa Ana for a MAC-10 gun and 28.3 grams of methamphetamine for $1,900.

But the buyer was a confidential informant working for the Santa Ana Gang Task Force.

When Luna (a.k.a "Sherman") returned to make the sale, he stated he couldn't retrieve the weapon, though he did bring 27.7 grams of meth for $820.

Five days later, he sold the snitch another batch of the narcotic for $850, and found himself under arrest.

Assistant United States Attorney Amanda N. Liskamm believed the punishment should be 188 months in prison because Luna sold "one of the most dangerous and destructive street drug" and got caught actually selling a 45-caliber Colt pistol and a Russian 7.62-caliber SKS firearm during a period of months.

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